Lot Archive


№ 306


12 February 1997

Hammer Price:

East and West Africa 1887-1900, edge impressed ‘Mwele 1895’, 2 clasps, Brass River 1895, Benin 1897 (W. H. Brown, P.O. 2 Cl., H.M.S. Barrosa) hairline scratching to obverse, otherwise good very fine

This lot was sold as part of a special collection, The Douglas-Morris Collection of Naval Medals.

View The Douglas-Morris Collection of Naval Medals


William Henry Brown was born on 19 October 1869 in Bigbury, Devon. He joined the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class aboard H.M.S. LION on 1 August 1885 and was advanced to Boy 1st Class on 9 June 1886. He next served aboard ROYAL ADELAIDE (February 1887), and NELSON (February 1887) and was advanced to Ordinary Seaman on 19 October 1887 and to Able Seaman on 1 October 1888. He served in this rate aboard CAMBRIDGE (January 1889), DEFIANCE (December 1889), CAMBRIDGE (May 1890), and HOWE (May 1890) being advanced to Leading Seaman on 4 April 1892. He served next aboard VICTORY I (November 1892), VIVID I (December 1892), CAMBRIDGE (December 1892), and DEFIANCE (March 1893). On advancement to Petty Officer 2nd Class on 4 December 1893, he served aboard PEMBROKE (December 1893), VIVID I (February 1894), BLANCHE (March 1894), and BARROSA (August 1894).

During a full three year commission aboard BARROSA he was landed for duty with Naval Brigades on a number of occasions. In February 1895 he took part in the Brass River Expedition to punish King Koko. In August 1895 he was present in various skirmishes against the rebel Chief Mburuk leading to the capture of M'wele, and he was landed for the Benin Expedition during 1897 culminating in the capture of Benin City.
He was specially promoted to Petty Officer 1st Class on 19 June 1897 for services rendered during the latter operations. He joined VERNON in September 1897 and purchased his release from the service on 21 February 1898. As he had not completed his engagement he was not eligible for the award of the L.S. & G.C. medal.